2017 Kicked off with a hike in the Newlands Forest on the 7th of January. The weather was perfect and the energy was incredible. New faces, young and old, locals and those visiting Cape Town embarked on a Bantu Hike that proved to be challenging but manageable.
A few hikes in the Bantu Hikers Calender are paired with a brunch at a local eatery to give professionals an opportunity to network and unwind. The Newlands hike event was similar in this approach. To replenish the depleted energy stocks, Bantu Hikers took to the Old Biscuit Mill instead of the Tea Room at Rhodes Memorial as intended. This change proved fortuitous as a hidden gem was discovered, Pitso’s Kitchen. Pitso’s Kitchen only sells African Cuisine, delectables like steamed bread, pap, trotters, chakalaka and tripe. This is a most welcome addition to one of the most popular markets on the tip of Africa.
A New Year signifies a beginning to a journey but for us, we see it as an opportunity to build on what we have started and to occupy new spaces. In 2017 for the first time, Bantu Hikers will be supporting two cohorts of students. Six students in matric and the other six will be from the subsequent year entering their first year of university. The idea is to create a platform for peer support between the two cohorts and most importantly ensure that our 2016 matriculants are supported as they transition into tertiary in their most critical year.
Many friendships and professional networks where formed in 2016, we look forward to welcoming new and familiar faces and even those taking a “short left” into Cape Town in 2017.
Newlands Forest has a number of routes and detours, the main one being Fernwood. The Blue route which we took connects Newlands Forest to Kirstenbosch and is popular among mountain bikers so be mindful of their presence.
Pets: Lots and lots of pets. Be mindful of canine friends too.
There aren’t a lot of signs but do not worry, Newlands is a very popular hiking spot so you can ask around if you get lost.